A Thorough Investigation

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

In the run-up to the November elections Trump is all over the media.  It started Sunday night with a 60 Minutes interview where the president mixed his most absurd opinions, for instance on climate change, with his most pompous attitudes, for instance towards Defense Secretary Mattis.  About climate change Trump said ‘we know something is happening but we don’t know what it is,’ sounding like a Bob Dylan song and ignoring the opinion of 99% of all scientists researching the issue.  When reminded of the fact that General Mattis once explained to him that NATO was created to prevent World War III Trump responded that he understands NATO better than the four star ex-marine, who served 44 years in the military, but that he gets along well with Mattis, in spite of the fact that the general is ‘kind of a Democrat.’  This sounded like the kiss of death, but when asked if Mattis would soon leave the administration Trump said Mattis had not told him that, but that ‘everybody leaves sooner or later.’  The general issued a statement that he has no plans to leave his post and that since the military is apolitical he has never had a party affiliation.  Rumor has it that Tom Cotton is next in line to succeed Mattis, and since he is probaby the most hawkish senator that would make the world a lot more unsafe.

Throughout the week Trump had to answer questions about the gruesome murder of Washington Post columnist and Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.  His first reaction was the observation that Khashoggi was not a US citizen, and that both the Saudi King and the Crown Prince ‘very strongly’ denied any involvement, echoing his statement in Helsinki that Putin was very strong in denying Russian interference in the 2016 elections.  As more details about the murder were released by the Turkish authorities the president sent Secretary of State Pompeo to Saudi Arabia to meet with the King and the Crown Prince and find what’s called a ‘mutually agreeable solution,’ meanwhile piloting the theory that ‘rogue killers’ had committed the murder, which would absolve the Saudi Royals.  Even the Saudis realized that Trump’s balloon would not fly, and floated the alternative theory that Khashoggi’s death was the result of an interrogation gone wrong.  Since the interrogation was apparently conducted with a bone saw this theory has some validity, and to have ‘plausible deniability’ the Saudis appear to have found a patsy, a general who is close to the Crown Prince and now probably already in jail waiting to be beheaded, because royal loyalty only goes so far.

While Pompeo was yakking it up with the Crown Prince and was all smiles in photos of their meetings, Trump compared the situation with Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, because Kavanaugh also had been considered ‘guilty until proven innocent,’ just like the Crown Prince, and was ‘proven innocent’ by the fake FBI investigation.  Following the same pattern Pompeo gave the Saudis a few more days to conduct a ‘thorough investigation’ and didn’t want to talk about the known facts in the case.  Meanwhile Trump emphasized that the Saudis buy a lot of stuff in the US, mentioning the arms industry but not his own significant business dealings with the kingdom.

When the news broke that Michael Cohen is meeting frequently with Robert Mueller and with the Southern District Trump showed that he is terrified of what his former fixer can tell the prosecutors.  In spite of the fact that there is an audio recording the president stated that Cohen lied when he said that Trump had instructed him to break the law, and called Cohen a ‘low level PR person’ who barely did any legal work for him.  Fortunately there is a video tape of Trump’s reaction to the FBI search of Cohen’s office and residences, showing the president very angry and calling the search ‘an attack on our country, frankly.’

Campaigning in red and tossup states Trump makes the elections all about him, with the caveat that if Republican candidates win it is to his credit, but if Republicans lose the House it is not his fault.  The president thinks that illegal immigration is his winning topic.  Continuing his long tradition of insulting women because of their looks he called Stormy Daniels a ‘horseface,’ not realizing that the joke is on him because apparently he didn’t notice how ugly she was when he fucked her.  In a response she called him ‘tiny,’ so that game is on.

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